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Connor McDavid NHL scoring title chase: Tracking the Oilers captain’s run to 160

NHL All-Star Connor McDavid is off to one of the league’s best regular seasons in decades. Although he will finish below the record of 215 points set by Wayne Gretzky in 1985-86, the current Oilers captain is on pace to become the first player to eclipse 150 points since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96.

There have only been five players – Gretzky, Lemieux, Phil Esposito, Bernie Nichols, and Steve Yzerman- to achieve that many points in a regular season. Right now, at just 25 years old, McDavid is on pace to join an elite group of scorers that features four Hall of Famers as he chases another NHL scoring title.

Who has scored the most points in an NHL regular season?

Most hockey fans know that Gretzky ended his legendary 20-year career with 2,857 points, thanks to 894 goals and 1,963 assists in 1,469 games. Interestingly, “The Great One” would still be the league’s all-time leading scorer without scoring a single goal since Jaromir Jagr sits in second place with 1,921 points.

When Gretzky retired in 1999, he left holding or sharing over 60 different NHL records, including the most points scored in a season with 215. To this day, he remains the only player in league history to score over 200 points, which he did on four separate occasions (1981-82, 1983-84, 1984-85, and 1985-86).

Related: Connor McDavid and top 2022-23 NHL MVP candidates

What statistical milestone is Connor McDavid chasing in 2022-23?

connor mcdavid, edmonton oilers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The reigning Art Ross winner, with 123 points in 2021-22, put the league on notice after the opening faceoff with a mission to shatter his career highs in goals (44) and points (123). After the Oilers reached the halfway point of their season, here’s a glimpse at the historic pace McDavid is currently on.

  • How many points Connor McDavid is away from the league’s first 150-point season in 25 years: 61

McDavid is currently scoring 1.8 points per game. And if he suits up for 80 games like last season, he is on pace for 145 points. That projected number is just below the 150 points threshold. However, McDavid already has one five-point game, seven four-point nights, and 16 games with two or three points. Ultimately, the discussion is not whether he can continue his torrid pace, but what the final number will be.

  • Projection of when Connor McDavid could reach the magical number of 150 points: April 13 vs. San Jose Sharks

Four of the five teams at the bottom of the NHL standings are located in the Western Conference, giving McDavid plenty of opportunities to score more than two points per game against some weaker opponents. As the schedule winds down and the Oilers continue to fight for a playoff spot, there will be a handful of games down the stretch where he will assert his dominance and reassure the fan base he’s ready for another deep playoff run.

Top five NHL scoring champions

  • Wayne Gretzky – 215
  • Wayne Gretzky – 212
  • Wayne Gretzky – 208
  • Wayne Gretzky – 205
  • Mario Lemieux – 199

Related: Sportsnaut’s updated NHL power rankings

Connor McDavid’s December road to historical season

connor mcdavid tracker
Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

McDavid is the captain of the Oilers, who lost in the conference final last season. This leads to additional pressure to get over the hump in 2022-23 and advance to the Stanley Cup Final. Unfortunately, the Oilers are struggling this year and are on the verge of missing the postseason after producing a 7-6-2 record in December.

Luckily, the slump didn’t slow down Connor McDavid, who potted 31 points in 15 games thanks to 14 goals and 17 assists. Furthermore, his totals included seven even-strength goals, six power-play goals, and a short-handed tally. Thanks to 49 shots, he finished the calendar year with a 28.6 shooting percentage during the final month after averaging 22:28 minutes per game.

Which NHL player is chasing Connor McDavid?

Leon Draisaitl is a forward with the Oilers who regularly plays with McDavid as a linemate and is one-half of the dynamic duo on the league’s best (31.0%) power-play unit. Together, the pair sit atop the NHL’s scoring charts and is closing in on a combined 160 points in the first half. By the season’s end, they could easily surpass 250 and get close to 275 points. Draisaitl currently has 72 points in 45 games played.